Premium Ready Guidelines

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-05-17 Print this article Print

Premium Ready guidelines will call for a 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM and 128MB of dedicated graphics memory. But, having met those, a PCs graphics processor must also adhere to DirectX9, WDDM (the Windows display driver model format for writing drivers) along with supporting Pixel Shader 2.0 and offering a color depth of 32 bits per pixel, in addition to a minimum bandwidth requirement, the sources said.
Microsoft is expected to say that 128MB of graphics memory will be capable of serving a display with up to 1.9 million pixels, a resolution of up to 1200 by 1600 pixels.
Its expected to say that higher resolutions will call for another step up in memory, an allotment of 256MB or more. The requirements mirror several suggestions made by Gartner Group, which said in a March 28 report that Vista would require at least 1GB of memory to show its full colors. Click here to read about how corporations are preparing for Vista. System memory and graphics memory are often one in the same, however, making the 1GB of main memory minimum even more of a necessity for many computers that use so-called integrated graphics. Integrated graphics use graphics cores that are built into PCs chip sets, chips that handle the movement of data inside a PC. The integrated processors block off a portion of a systems main memory to use as a graphics frame buffer. Thus Premium Ready PCs will need the extra RAM as 128MB of it, in most cases, will be used only for graphics. Many of the high-end PCs on the market today will be able to meet Microsofts Vista Premium Ready specifications right out of the box. But many others purchased over the last year to 18 months will need some work. Next Page: Graphics.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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